The Indian Navy has sacked a sailor for undergoing a sex change surgery last year, holding him guilty of breaching service rules.
Manish Giri, a naval sailor, had undergone the sex change surgery in August at a hospital in Mumbai when he was on leave.
"The Indian Navy has discharged Manish Giri, a naval sailor, evoking the clause of 'Service No Longer Required' under the navy regulations," the navy said in a statement.
It said the sailor who underwent "sex reassignment surgery" while on leave was administratively discharged from the service.
"The individual chose to undergo irreversible gender re-assignment on his own accord, whilst on leave wilfully altering his gender status from the one he was recruited for at the time of his induction," it said.
Giri was posted at a naval facility in Visakhapatnam.
"He has breached the Recruitment Regulations and eligibility criteria for his employment as a sailor in the Indian Navy," the navy said.
It said that the existing service rules and regulations do not permit the sailor's continued employment owing to his altered gender status, medical condition and "resultant employability restrictions".
The navy was not aware of the surgery until the sailor returned from a three-week long vacation and fell ill with a urinary tract infection, according to Hindustan Times. When Giri's superiors came to know about the surgery, they sent her for psychiatric treatment to a naval hospital. "I was kept in a male psychiatric ward for six months. The experience was akin to staying in prison," she said. "When the doctors there were unable to prove that I was mentally ill, they finally discharged me."
"I used to work as an engineer and it required me to be on the ship. But my new identity of a woman has forced me to stay away from ship and work at the base," Giri said. She was taken off the sailor job and posted in the administrative wing.
The sailor also said that she would explore all legal options to get her job back. "I will fight till I get justice. I am consulting my lawyers, and will move court soon," she added. She is also considering writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seek justice.
"I am as much a citizen of India as any other male or female citizen of the country. I have the same rights as other enjoys. I can still pull the trigger of a gun and shoot the enemy, why am I not fit enough to serve my country? I will go to the Supreme Court if I have to and fight for my rights," she told India Today.
The Indian Navy has forwarded the case to the Ministry of Defense to seek advice on the future course of action.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Oct 10, 2017 11:41 AM